Communication plays a part in almost every aspect of your business, so being able to communicate well can boost your overall performance.
Good communication is essential to building a cohesive and effective team. Good communication skills are essential to managing the performance of your team members, and if you know how to communicate well to large groups you can minimise the risk of industrial problems developing in your workplace.
Communication skills can be particularly important during times of higher workplace stress, for example during downsizing, where good communication is an essential part of change management.
You also need to communicate well to build and maintain effective relationships with your suppliers and clients. Communication skills are crucial to dealing with customer complaints effectively and limiting any negative word-of-mouth about your business. You can draw on communication skills when you assess the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
The first step in good communication is to listen effectively. Today’s trend is away from top-down management, where decisions and policies are proclaimed from above. Good managers now consult a lot with their teams, using them as a resource for information and suggestions.
Consultation is not only a good way to get ideas on business strategy, it is also a way of making sure that when you do decide on policies, everyone feels like they have been involved. Your team will be able to implement policies more effectively if they have been involved in their formulation. They will be more familiar with the issues - you will have dealt first-hand with any misgivings they may have.
Effective listening is based on having the trust of the people you are speaking to. People may not offer their true opinions when they are wary about how they will be received. So being a good communicator means winning the trust of those...